Shrikant Menjoge, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of Strategic Foresight Group recently participated in an International conference on Global Movement of Moderates: In Pursuit of an Enduring and Just Peace. The conference was held in Kuala Lumpur and received support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Razak school of Government and Institute Terjemaham dan Buku , Malaysia.
About 350 delegates from over 70 countries attended the conference. The main aim was to provide a platform for like-minded people around the world to learn from each other and share their experiences in moderation, helping to foster understanding of various views and ideas of moderation.
The conference was inaugurated by YAB Dato' Sri Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia on the 17th Jan 2012 at the famous Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. In his keynote address the Hon'ble Prime Minister explained how Malaysia has chosen the path of moderation and its role in building ASEAN in 1967. He further made it clear that though extremism is synonymous with terrible images of murder, mayhem and human suffering it isn't always violent. A classic example of such extremism is the global financial crisis where without firing a single bullet the extremists and extremes of Wall Street took the world to the brink in just a matter of few days.
Thus extremism in all walks of life is dangerous and needs to be countered by moderation. The Prime Minister also announced the formation of an Institute of Wasahyyah and the launch of a new Global Movement of Moderates Foundation as a centre of first resort for the consolidation and dissemination of information and campaign materials.
The conference had 18 different sessions with 50 speakers. From the discussion that took place over three days, there was a commonality of views of the importance of moderation in the context of its application to global issues and situations, especially to matters that relate to the social, economic, financial, religions and international political agenda.
Luminaries that addressed the conference included former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, Tun Abdulla Bin Ahmad Badari, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, The Hon. Marty Natalegawa, Admiral (rtd) Dennis C. Blair among others. The closing keynote address was delivered by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Tan Sri. Muhyiddin Yassin.
The main themes examined by the conference were:
1) The ethos, thoughts or philosophy behind moderation as a sustaining force to deal with global issues and the well being of humankind.
2) The worsening of global financial situation which reflects extreme markets driven motivation without consideration to social justice. The conference called for the reexaminations of the Global Financial Architecture.
3) The belief that with increasing commitment and collective application, it may not be difficult to neutralize extremism. The acceptance of the concept of moderation in international politics would impose to all parties, state and non-state actors a responsibility to conduct relations and interactions in a manner that helps to diffuse possible tension and conflict.
4) The dramatic drop in the incidents of interstate of conflicts in East Asia since 1976 and appreciation of ASEAN countries efforts to be the drivers of peace and promoters of moderation.